Europe Revised By Irvin S. Cobb

 -   Days spent here seem short days;
but that may be due in some part to the difference between our
time - Page 200
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Days Spent Here Seem Short Days; But That May Be Due In Some Part To The Difference Between Our Time And Theirs.

In Paris, you know, the day ends five or six hours earlier than it does in America.

The two Palaces of Fine Arts are fine enough; and finer still, on beyond them, is the great Pont Alexandre III; but, to my untutored instincts, all three of these, with their clumpings of flag standards and their grouping of marble allegories, which are so aching-white to the eye in the sunlight, seemed overly suggestive of a World's Fair as we know such things in America. Seeing them I knew where the architects who designed the main approaches and the courts of honor for all our big expositions got their notions for color schemes and statuary effects. I liked better those two ancient triumphal arches of St.-Martin and St.-Denis on the Boulevard St.-Denis, and much better even than these the tremendous sweep of the Place de la Concorde, which is one of the finest squares in the world, and the one with the grimmest, bloodiest history, I reckon.

The Paris to which these things properly appertain is at its very best and brightest on a sunny Sunday afternoon in the parks where well-to-do people drive or ride, and their children play among the trees under the eyes of nursemaids in the quaint costumes of Normandy, though, for all I know, it may be Picardy. Elsewhere in these parks the not-so-well-to-do gather in great numbers; some drinking harmless sirupy drinks at the gay little refreshment kiosks; some packing themselves about the man who has tamed the tree sparrows until they come at his call and hive in chattering, fluttering swarms on his head and his arms and shoulders; some applauding a favorite game of the middle classes that is being played in every wide and open space.

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